LONDON Jan 27 Japanese electronics company
Sharp (6753.T) will almost double the size of its solar panel
manufacturing in northern England, creating 300 jobs, the
company said on Thursday.
The announcement reflects an industry view that Britain has
become a small but high-growth solar power market since
introducing new incentives last April.
The expansion would almost double capacity to 500 megawatts
(MW) annually by March 2011, or 8,000 solar panels a day, Sharp
"The UK is one of the world's fastest growing markets for
solar panel technology," it said in a statement.
Britain introduced new solar incentives last year just as
several European countries including Spain, Germany and France
cut these to take account of price falls following global
over-capacity and competition from China.
Britain's feed-in tariffs pay per unit of electricity
produced from small-scale low-carbon energy up to 5 MW.
The incentives reward solar power far more than any other
technology, at up to 0.41 pounds ($0.648) per kilowatt hour from
2010-2011 for small, roof-top systems, falling to 0.38 pounds in
2012-2013, reflecting the fact that solar is more expensive than
The government has reserved the right to review incentive
levels from 2012 or earlier, if there is a greater than expected
rush to install panels or if costs fall quickly.